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Opinions of Saturday, 24 February 2018

Columnist: BettyBlueMenz

BettyBlueMenz perspectives - 'Deadly Roads'

If you have had the opportunity to travel outside of this country, you will testify that the nature of roads in Ghana is really very bad.

Each and every year, we see politicians travelling to their various constituencies in their 4x4 cars to campaign. Obviously, they know the roads are bad, and yet they do very little about it.

They promise to fix and or improve the roads when voted into power, but once they get the mandate of the people, they quickly forget about the promises and enjoy all the goodies with their families to the detriment of the people who voted them into power.

MPs of the various constituencies are fully aware of what is going on and some of them, particularly those in opposition do raise the matter on the floor of the house, but it appears that is the least of the worries of those in power. We all have seen how precious lives have been lost due to the poor nature of our roads. People who were bread winners of their families have lost their lives because of bad roads.

Statistics available at National Road Safety Commission indicates that in 2017 alone, 2,706 died in road accidents. A whopping 1,562 representing 75.2% were males, and the remaining 514, representing 24.8% were female. This cannot be acceptable. We must vow to reverse this continuous killings on our roads and take an action now as a nation.

In a BettyBlueMenz Pespective, I think it is high time our road ministry and it agencies demonstrated utmost responsibility in ensuring that our roads are properly fixed and safe for use.

The various roads agencies must take a second look at how road contract are executed and also ensure contractors are paid their arrears to prevent shabby work, which is a leading cause of road accidents.

On my way to work this morning, I realized that young able-bodied men pretending to be contractors have piled blocks and sand with their wheelbarrows, filling the potholes alongside begging for alms.

What are the authorities doing about these men parading themselves to be contractors - are our ministers trying to tell us they don’t see them every day as they drive on the roads - or they just look the other way - isn’t their shabby work also contributing to floods during rainfall, as the sand they put in the potholes are washed into the gutters?

Speaking of sand, we can’t forget so soon that Dance hall diva Ebony may have been alive today if not for a pile of sand on the road her vehicle was travelling on.

Most roads in the country get flooded when there is rainfall even just showers cause flood on the roads.

Our leaders should stand up and take drastic measures to ensure that anyone who is not a contractor and is seen pretending to be fixing the roads as a cover up to beg for alms, are put behind bars.

Or are we waiting for tragedy to strike, only to blame witches and wizards? It is only in this country that we set death traps for ourselves on the roads, and yet when people die, we are quick to blame witches and juju men. We need to be serious as a nation and not feel too comfortable with the nature of our roads because a lot needs to be done.

I rest my case here…

BBM